"If you agreed with Grasser, everything was wonderful." "DiePresse.com



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No matter who was finance minister between 1997 and 2014, the budget has always had the signature of Gerhard Steger. He was head of the budget section of the Ministry of Finance in those years and was considered one of the most powerful officials in Austria. From 1999 to 2000, he also served as Buwog's chief counsel and also served on the Selection Committee, which was established in 2004 in the run-up to the privatization of federal housing companies. The latter entered the mandate of Karl-Heinz Grasser (February 2000 to January 2007), who today is the main defendant in the corruption case of the Buwog and Terminal Tower case in the Vienna District Court – and rejects all allegations against him.

>>> Dossier: the Grasser process [premium]

Steger, a skilled political scientist and declared Social Democrat, had first gotten along with Grasser, supported many of his reform plans, as he emphasized on the 85th day of the Grand Court trial. He even invited Grasser to eat at his house "what my wife criticizes me today". But when the minister broke away from the FPÖ and "fell victim to the ÖVP," the relationship deteriorated, said the 61-year-old man who outlined his ex-superior's character as follows: "Whenever you agree with him, wonderful, "was not it, could Grasser" grumpy "and someone" put under pressure ".

Asked by Judge Marion Hohenecker about the selection committee's role, Steger's memoirs have become "bleak." He had attended such meetings and should also have been there when, for the first time on June 4, 2004, federal apartment offers were opened in a notary's office. However, he was then barred short-term because, he did not know anymore. Present were therefore only the notary and then the chief of Grasser's cabinet, Heinrich Traumüller, was.

Confronted with its previous statements to the Commission ("in reality the Commission had nothing to report because I do not need a commission to judge that two is more than three, so it was an inflated aerial structure"), Steger said Tuesday He keeps all his previous statements and has nothing to add.

She became emotional in the court of reference when Steger was invited to Claudia Sterrer-Pichler, former deputy section leader of the Presidential Section of the Treasury. "Jossas," he said, "I have to be educated." He had thought she professionally not very well versed and therefore was once even "length times the breadth" with her "fell". Juicy afterthought: "It was up to me, of course." Sterrer-Pichler is interviewed as a witness at 13:30 clock.

The allegations at a glance

Buwog Cause: The Public Ministry of Corruption assumes that, around the privatization of federal housing in 2004, bribery flowed (9.6 million euros). The money should have come from the Austrian consortium in the bidding process of Immofinanz and RLB OÖ – flew through diversions to various accounts. The payment has been proven since 2009, but the question is still open: then Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser passed on information to enrich himself (and others)? E: Grasser, your godfather Walter Meischberger, real estate agent Ernst Karl Plech and lobbyist Peter Hochegger shared the commission?

Tower Cause Terminal: As in the case of Buwog, a "Tatplan" (for privatization projects "cut" in series) must also have been followed here. And in fact: Grasser should have plugged part of the commission of 200 thousand euros, which they say has flowed into the lease of financial services of Upper Austria in the Linz Terminal Tower.

The defendants deny the allegations, only Peter Hochegger made a partial confession. It is the presumption of innocence.

Party donations subject: Judge Marion Hohenecker has ruled that corruption procedures should be extended to the "black box" cause. It is said that these "coffers" were filled by Hochegger (he is accused on both fronts) with money from Telekom Austria. Purpose according to prosecution: The old administration wanted to have reservations to vote for politicians, if necessary. This complex will be discussed in the fall / winter for the first time at the Great Circuit Court.

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